birkett - Answered a Question by tanya (21 Dec 08 09:23)

Frankly I was amazed when Fred started using Miami I have been on Braemar (quite nice) and boadicca (poor) and I think it is fair to say that the FO passengers want no hassle They must hate Miami airport with its rude officials and terrible long queues of tired people trying to get through Sorry to be so negative but my experience (3 times) echoes Taylors comments and people need to be aware of this when considering a cruise I am going P&O via Bridgetown in a few weeks-no hassle-straight on to buses and luggage taken to the ship for you.

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Taylor - Answered a Question by tanya (20 Dec 08 16:48)

I can only speak from experience and the Balmoral, but I personally would never go through Miami again. Huge queues and completely over the top procedures. No FO rep, just a local USA person and luggage was very roughly handled by the American agent. Had to throw my case away when we got back. Many of the officials were either off hand or downright rude. The length of the queues is nothing to do with where you are flying from, but rather how many aircraft land at around the same time as yours. To top the lot, the coach driver on the way back to the airport took a wrong turning!!

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morgan - Answered a Question by tanya (25 Dec 08 17:41)

Would never if possible fly into mia again, took three hours to get out of the airport,it took that long that our luggage was taken off the carousel ,and was piled up in a corner,best of luck. one tip when queing for immagration go to the furthesrt left hand queue it the one that crew use as well as public it's much quicker.

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patterson - Answered a Question by tanya (01 Jan 09 22:17)

Hi i am going on the same trip in feb can you tell me what you thought of it, i have been reading some of the comments left i am getting a bit concerned about them, oh and can you tell me what the currency is and what the weather was like. in other words tell me about your trip as it is a bit more #recent then some of the other peoples who went on the braemar. thank you so much/ sharon.

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tanya - replied to patterson (12 Jan 09 14:35)

Hi.....overall we really enjoyed our cruise. the flight from stansted with thomsonfly on 22 december 2008(very nice complimentary meal and drinks - 10 hour flight) started with 2 hours delay (as security decided to search the aircraft twice as of anniversary of Lockerbie air disaster 20 years ago and that aircraft just came from Glasgow) - so we landed in Miami 2 hours later - and so the immigration control took us only 20 minutes to go through (as it appeared no other planes landed at the same time) - no questions asked - just to give finger prints and the photo (there are 2 rows - one for americans and second - for other countries - so as its only us who landed at that moment - immigration let us use 2 rows and the process was much quicker) we went through immigration very quickly - so we had to wait for our luggage for about 40 minutes:) after collecting our luggage we went to the buses which transfer you to the port - you have to leave luggage next to the van parked behind the buses which take your luggage straight to the ship (and then directly to your room - if you dont know your room number - its will be either near reception or delivered to your room a little bit later)...transfer from miami airport to the port takes about 15 was our first time on the braemar - so cant really judge was it better before or after it was streched - braemar is very nice small ship (currency on board is pound and there is currency - in the start of the cruise - very windy and rough seas for about 4 days(we had to go to Bahamas, Nassau instead of Grand Turk - as weather was much worse near Grand Turk) - so many people were sea was only 2 days overcast with braemar was streched and became bigger - they didnt put more engines - so ship is a little underpowered and can be late to dock if required to go max.speed (17 knots). the ship doesnt handle the rough seas very is good, fresh and plentiful..- we had breakfasts and lunches in the grampian restaurant on the deck 8 -bright with many big windows and very nice views .. for some reason palms cafe on deck 6 was much busier for breakfasts and lunches than grampian.and had dinner in the thistle (busy and a little bit noisy ) - staff is absolutely amazing - nothing is much trouble for them..we had an outside cabin on deck 6 with lifebout obstructed view - cabins are on the smaller size but very adequate and clean.we didnt take any excursions - just doing things on our own near the port area - or taking taxis for excursions (much cheaper - only you need to agree the price and itenirary and time scale - as all taxi drivers try to take you as quick as possible if you dont specify ..). taxis try to charge per antigua we only had from 8.00-13.00 - so we just had a taxi for 3 hours (taking to Nelsons Dockyard(1 hour walk around it) and viewings point) and then a nice drive up the coast - cost 20US dollars per person for the minibus taxi of 4) prices on the braemar - very reasonable - glass of wine 2.95 pounds, pint of stella - 2.55 pounds).also dry cleaning is very cheap - fo mens suit (2 pieces) - just 8.00 pounds...ofcourse - neptunes lounge can be a little bit overcrowded for shows - but if you want to seee the show - just come 30 minutes earlier...also lounges on the top deck - can be problematic to find unoccupied one from 10.00- 14.00 (on the days - at sea) - but we found the sun very strong and hot during these hours - so usually just came after 15.00 -usually plenty free lounges available and sun is not so hot:) have to do immigration in key west - officials boarded the ship - process went very quickly - immigration just stamped the forms and thats it........ if its available on the way back to miami airport for return to uk - take official excursion (3 - 3.5 hours - 24 pounds/per person) - as its nothing to do on the port our plain was delayed for 5 hours ( nobody on the ship wanted to tell you that - just briefly mentioned delay to stansted airport and didnt tell for how long the delay was) - so disembarked the ship, picked our luggage and then set in the coach for about 1 hour before they took us to the airport (the cruise agents braemar uses - just work to they own schedules and dont really worry abour how log you have to wait and inconvinience for you) - when you arrive at miami airport - you dont have to pick up your luggage from the bus - it will be delivered near the check in point - but better if you can take your own luggage - as we found it can take ages to be delivered near the check in point(if a lot of buses at the same time) or just misplaced (so few people had to try to find they misplaced luggage)..ports of call - favourite antigua and aruba - less commercialized and beautiful, to suprise - key west - everything very close by, clean place - Little White House(Truman) is worth the visit and 15us dollar entrance fee...any questions - just ask - happy to answer....and have a lovely trip!

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